Studio Business

Inviting Piano Students to Remove Their Shoes

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_ecc0.jpgAs shared in this post, my husband and I recently relocated from Bowling Green, Ohio to Saline, Michigan (outside Ann Arbor). I’m sure I’ll share a full tour of my new piano room, but for today, I wanted to share a simple solution I found to help remind my students to remove their shoes when they arrive.

My new piano room is carpeted, and it’s a light color. I didn’t always enforce the “shoes off” rule in my previous home, but I decided I wanted to be more consistent about that here.

The main way to achieve that is to train students from the first time they are at the studio. However, I thought it might be nice to also add a friendly reminder for them to see when they arrive.

This is the entryway area to my studio.

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Take a look! Did you spot it?

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It’s a decal I found listed on Etsy.com. When it arrived in the mail, I installed it per the enclosed instructions. I measured from the floor and made marks with a pencil to make sure I installed it perfectly level.

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It says: “Welcome” and “please remove your shoes”. I’m pleased with how it turned out. I think the design looks welcoming and friendly.

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Just thought I’d share! If you’d like to order the same decal, here’s a link to the Etsy seller’s listing. The Etsy seller, Teria, was kind enough us to offer a promo code for 10% off! Just use the link here or enter the promo code COLOR. I’m told the promo code will also work on her other door/window decals. She has many different decal designs in her shop.

The decals are available in many colors, and in gloss or matte vinyl. For painted surfaces, you’ll want to choose matte; for outdoor applications (like a window), choose gloss.


I’m curious: Do you prefer students to remove their shoes when they arrive at your studio? Why or why not?

22 thoughts on “Inviting Piano Students to Remove Their Shoes”

  1. What an adorable little sign and a great, yet gentle, reminder to remove their shoes. I have a no.shoes policy in my studio as well. I live in the country (in Michigan) so we have all kinds of weather (right now snow) but rain/wet/mud/yuck! So to help keep everyone’s feet dry and cozy, shoes are removed at the door. The studio stays much cleaner as well.

    1. Yes, it can get so sloppy outside in the wintertime! I am looking forward to having an easier time keeping the entry area and floors clean, thanks to my new shoe policy. :)

  2. Love the sign…I know exactly where to place it in my foyer. I just initiated a shoe-free policy because we recently replaced the old laminate floor in the studio due to accumulated damage from moms’ high heels and kids’ scuff marks. Hopefully it also means less sweeping and mopping for me.:-)

  3. I love your idea of the decal and policy. My students remove their shoes when it is wet out, and some always remove them. Pedaling becomes more difficult without shoes, so I don’t mind if they wear them when they are clean.

  4. I prefer my students to leave their shoes on b/c I have never found a solution to pedaling except with shoes. I was taught and teach that shoes are required at the piano because of pedaling. Plus, I would rather not have bare feet at the piano and certainly never while pedaling. In the South, the hot weather creates a different dynamic with sweaty and often smelly feet. Does anyone have a real solution for pedaling with “piano shoes” similar to the shoes I use at the organ?

    1. I’ve often heard teachers say this about pedaling! I personally have not had problems with students’ pedaling due to being without shoes. I think it’s good for them to know how to pedal properly whether they are in socks, shoes, or flip flops even…

      The sweaty/smelly feet thing is a real issue, for sure. One teacher I know has two baskets at the door: one with fun, clean socks and the other for discarding the socks after use. Maybe that’s a possible solution for some teachers?

    2. I lived in Texas for 25 years and you are correct. That is where I decided shoes on was better than smelly sweaty socks.

    3. I used to have a carpet in my studio, but changed to hard floors. I ask the students to wipe their feet well but don’t insist on removing shoes. Some do on their on volition.

  5. Love the sign! My policy has depended on my living space. My current situation is renting a condo that has light carpet, so I require shoes off. However, we are building a home that has a small studio with an entrance just a couple steps into the entryway! We are doing engineered hardwood in the main areas/entry way/hallways, so shoes will be fine there. And I am going to pick a dark or multicolored short pile carpet with the best stain technology we can afford in our budget for that room so they can always play with shoes, since pedaling will feel more normal that way.

  6. My life has been so much better since the no shoes policy. I used to feel like I needed to vacuum everyday. Sometimes between lessons. Yuck.

      1. Yes, I thinking keeping the entryway and floors clean will be much easier with my new shoe policy! That will be so nice.

        And how cool is that to have your own Cricut! I bet you’ve created all kinds of neat things for your teaching!

  7. Nicely and professionally done. I have a similar situation with an entry way and very light carpet. My solution is to have runners over it during lesson hours and not do the shoe removal routine, although I have deep respect for both options. :-)
    My reasons are various: I eliminate the commotion in the foyer; students are able to leave quickly as I do lessons on the hour and half hour precisely; and it avoids unfortunate odor and the accompanying embarrassment.

  8. I prefer shoes on. I have wood floors and the damper pedal is very high on my piano. If my students don’t have shoes on, then the pedal technic goes out the window.

    I love the sign though! Super cute and perfect placement for your new home!

    1. Ah, that makes sense. With a high damper pedal, I can see where shoes might help. I try to make sure students can pedal well no matter if they are shoed, socked, or barefoot. But I don’t have a high pedal they have to deal with.

      Thanks for your comment, Ginger!

  9. We just bought a new area rug for our living room. We live in a new home and have hard floors and carpet in my studio. Because I had not so great of an experience having students take off their shoes in Texas (sweaty socks and smelly feel worse than shoes I have allowed shoes to me worn in my new Utah home for 4 years. However with the new area rug I have been training them to put disposable covers on their shoes. I started January 1st lesson. It’s been a learning curve. We just put the rug down this week. I found I had to buy a small bench for them to sit as some cannot balance and sitting on my 40 year old hall tree not good. So that’s my solution for now. I love your etsy sign. I need one that says please put on shoe covers.

    1. There are many Etsy sellers who enjoy doing custom work. I bet you could find someone who could design a sign for you about your shoe covers, Pamela!

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